Newcastle can go into the international break with a huge amount of confidence if they beat Nottingham Forest on Friday night.
Eddie Howe‘s side finally got back to winning ways on Sunday, as Newcastle beat Wolves 2-1 at St James’ Park. It was only our second Premier League win of 2023, with Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron finding the net.
It was a vital victory for the Magpies, who can boost their top four bid with another win on Friday night. They face an opponent that they have already beat this season, but this should prove to be a much tougher encounter.
Newcastle won 2-0 against Forest on the opening day of the season, but Steve Cooper’s side are much stronger at the City Ground.
It is going to be a tough away trip for Howe, and this is the Newcastle lineup we predict he will pick to start against Nottingham Forest
Pressure on Nick Pope against Nottingham Forest
It has been an interesting few weeks for Nick Pope. He was dramatically sent off against Liverpool for a handball outside his box, meaning he missed the Carabao Cup final.
That was agonizing for the England goalkeeper, and he was nearly sent off again on Sunday. Pope was involved in a collision with Raul Jimenez in the box that arguably should have resulted in a penalty for Wolves. If the referee had point to the spot, he probably would have had to send Pope off as well.
The £10million man has been enduring some shaky moments recently, and will hope for a much calmer performance at the City Ground.
Miguel Almiron returns to Newcastle starting lineup
Miguel Almiron dropped to the bench against Wolves at the weekend, but came on to score the winner. He provided real spark following his introduction, and netted his 11th goal of the season.
While his replacement Jacob Murphy did well, it would make sense to recall Almiron to the starting lineup. The 29-year-old is our most prolific goalscorer, and will have benefitted from a brief spell out of the side.
But after his goal against Wolves, Howe will hope that Miggy has the confidence to go on another wonderful run like he did earlier in the season. He should therefore reclaim his place in the side, forcing £12million man Murphy back to the bench.
Alexander Isak predicted to lead the line again for Newcastle
Howe decided to change his striker against Wolves, and it paid off. Isak was one of Newcastle’s best players, and looked every bit the £63million player he is meant to be.
The 23-year-old took his goal brilliantly, while his all round game was fantastic. He led the line brilliantly, and should continue to do so at the City Ground.
While he might not be ready to play 90 minutes for Howe, he can give Newcastle another exhilarating hour before being replaced by the club’s number nine Callum Wilson.
Predicted XI to face Forest: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Bruno, Willock; Almiron, Isak, Saint-Maximin.